Stephen Goodwin, chairman of West Virginia University’s Board of Governors, expressed his support for WVU ’s administration in handling the coaching situation Tuesday. In addition, he issued the following statement through the University:
WVU appreciates donor support of its academic and athletic programs. The University and the board listen to their suggestions, as we listen to students, alumni, faculty and staff. People who are successful in other areas of life often have important insights into how we operate, how we are perceived and how we can improve the University.
At the end of the day, the University is governed by its board and its president, and the people they appoint to positions of responsibility. Making donations to a public university does not entitle anyone to dictate policy or personnel.
The board has a lot of confidence in how Ed Pastilong and Mike Garrison are handling this coaching change. Theyve taken a responsible approach to this throughout and really offered Coach Rodriguez and the team a lot of support in a very difficult time for the team. Weve heard a lot of support from fans, from alumni and from donorslarge and smallabout how the University is handling this.
WVU went to the ends of the earth to keep the coach hereand clearly, some of our major donors assisted the school in that effort.
- His salary was increased by 70 percent.
- His assistantssalaries were increased.
- We built a $2 million academic center for the team.
- We have started construction on a $6 million locker room renovation.
There were some very minor issues that he raised with the administrationand people were working on them. I think you will agree that the things that are being talked about are pretty minor in comparison to what has been done already.
But he clearly was looking for an excuse to leave�€he looked last year and again this year.
But when he went to visit another team and then came back to campus with demands based on those minor issues, University officials simply told him they would continue to work on the issues. He was asked to focus on the student-athletes and the upcoming bowl game. Theres a long off-season coming up to work out those sorts of minor issues. Whoever comes in as coach will know that they can count on support from WVU on big issues and small issues.